Celtics share the (basketball) wealth en route to seventh straight victory


OKLAHOMA CITY -- We hear all the time about whether there are enough basketballs to go around to keep Boston Celtics and their bevy of scorers, happy. 

And then there are games like the one we saw on Sunday against the Oklahoma City Thunder when the Celtics delivered the kind of balanced scoring attack that reminds us all how dangerous a team they can be.

Indeed, Boston’s ability to spread the wealth was instrumental in their 112-111 win at Oklahoma City on Sunday. 

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

The Celtics (37-15), winners of seven in a row now, had all five starters score in double figures. 

More telling was the balance on display when it came to shot attempts from the first group. 

All five Boston starters took at least 10 shots, with Gordon Hayward (10 shot attempts) at one end of that shot-taking spectrum and Jayson Tatum (19) at the other. 

“It’s gonna be different every night,” said Hayward. “We got so many different guys that can really go.”

What the Celtics often do, is recognize a mismatch and try and exploit it as much as they can down the stretch. 

The Thunder had a hard time matching up against Kemba Walker, who had 27 points which included eight in the final three minutes of play. 

In the third quarter, the matchup-of-choice was whoever they threw on Jayson Tatum time who scored 12 of his 26 points in the third.

Off the dribble getting to the basket, pull-up jumpers or behind-the-arc 3’s, Tatum was a problem that the Thunder simply had no answer for in the second half. 

“He’s an All-Star,” said Oklahoma City guard Dennis Schroder. “He deserves it, and we didn’t contain him very well. But like I said, we’re going to look at film and then we’re going to get better at it.”

And coming out the gates setting the tone early for Boston was Gordon Hayward, whose seven points in the first quarter were key to the Celtics staying within striking distance of the Thunder who led 32-28 after the first. 

No one anticipates the Celtics will play this well for the rest of the season, but the threat of having a floor full of scorers certainly gives opponents plenty to think about in containing one of the hottest teams in the NBA right now. 

“I see the talent we have; we have so many scorers,” said Boston’s Daniel Theis who had 13 points on 5-for-11 shooting to go with 11 rebounds for his fourth double-double this season. “I try to get them open shots and if teams double team them and leave me open, I have to take and hopefully make that shot. They did that a few times tonight and I was able to make a few which helped the team.”

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Rockets, which begins Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live followed by tip-off at 9:30 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.